Albuquerque hosts free, family-friendly New Year’s Eve events

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Across the metro, families were ringing in the New Year a little early, and some family-friendly events were very popular.

The city had their annual “Free until three” event going on at multiple museums and the BioPark Saturday. The BioPark posted on social media that all of their tickets were sold out.

People who claimed their tickets ahead of time pulled them up on their phones, but there were others who didn’t know about the tickets, and tried their luck at the gate.

“I asked my mom ‘go and try to buy the tickets’ and the guy said ‘you can just go in, it’s free,’” said Paula Nolivos.  

“We were lucky today was free, we didn’t plan for it or anything. I was just telling my child we were lucky,” said Musa Ajagwa. 

Folks of all ages were out and about looking at the animals in their enclosures.

The other free events included the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, and the Albuquerque Museum.

Explora hosted their “New Year’s at Noon” event and – like the BioPark – they were sold out by early Saturday morning.

1,200 people were packed into the Explora for their New Year’s balloon drop, and 2,023 balloons were dropped onto the crowd of cheering children below. 

Organizers say they just wanted to create a New Year’s event that the whole family can enjoy. After the countdown, families spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the Explora – balloons in hand.

While all the day time New Year’s events are over, organizers say it was a big success. Explora sold 1,200 tickets and its estimated 4,500 people visited the zoo.